Member Spotlight on Winnie Hart

Member Spotlight on WINNIE HART
Owner, The H Agency; EONO Communication Chair

Please tell us briefly about your company.
I own a branding and advertising company called "The H Agency." We specialize in developing strategic and creative marketing solutions for the health and wellness and financial industries. We leverage competitive advantages to help clients to stand out, be noticed and remembered.

Why did you join EO and how long have you been a member?
After reading the book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad I was inspired to take my business to the next level. That was in 2004.

How did you come up with an original idea for your business?
The graphic design business is historically a fine-art functioning industry. It's more "creative" minded than "business/strategy" minded. My goal was to be a leader and an innovator, to build a company that offers design as just one of its services along with strategic thinking and planning, and to create and grow a durable firm.

How long has your company been in operation?
19 years.

What do you like best about your business?
Helping companies be successful, engaging the power of combined creative and strategic thinking, what I call  "hybrid" thinking. Hybrid thinking merges traditional business and marketing thinking with creative and innovative thinking to create new solutions that support bottom line growth.

How much money did you have to invest to start your business?
A $10,000 loan - I used my in-law's Volvo as collateral. I guess I should have called my company "Volvo" but it was already trademarked. I don't like asking for help; it was a big stretch for me. I paid off the loan in 6 months.

Why do you think you have been successful?
Discipline and organization. I launch each year with a strategic kick-off presentation and follow the strategy each year. We achieve 90% of every initiative. The theme for this year is "HUT - HUT." I showed up in an "H" football helmet and incorporated Vince Lomabardi's coaching techniques to illustrate how we will achieve our goals for the year.

What is something that most people don't know about you?
I'm an identical twin. Haven't you ever wanted to duplicate yourself? Lorrie is a rockstar and works with me in my company. It's a dream come true!

Got anything big coming up on the horizon for you personally or with business that you want to share?
Specializing in Healthcare. Healthcare is the new retail in this country - there is unlimited opportunity. What's more important than health for a population that is aging?

Who has the biggest influence on your life?
My father "Brig." He drilled three messages into my being: "Think Positive," "You Don't Know What You Don't Know," and "Life is Difficult." I work and live by those mantras.

What are the most influential books that you have read?
All I Really Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten. It's all really simple, we over-complicate things - do what you say you're going to do and be a good neighbor.
Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving with Grace by Gordon MacKenzie. You've got to respect the creativity of someone who can persuade one of the 50 largest private companies in the U.S. to create a position for him called "creative paradox."

If you could spend an entire day with one person who would it be?
Abraham Lincoln.

What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?
Hook up with a mentor early on. Learn from those that have come before you, and when you are established, return the favor to another young entrepreneur.

What has been the best thing about being a member of EO New Orleans ?
To be among like-minded people, people dedicated to helping you grow personally and professionally.

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